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October 21, 2017

Brandon Wimbush

South Bend, Indiana

Notre Dame - 49, USC - 14

Q. Brandon, you fell on that one hit on your right shoulder. Was everything okay in that situation?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Yeah, everything's okay. I kind of thought about the Aaron Rodgers deal that went on. But I got up and I was good, good to go.

Q. Just what was the experience of this game like for you after obviously not playing against North Carolina, having, like you said, three weeks off, must have felt longer? How satisfying was this game and what was this experience like?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Obviously it was a huge win for the entire team. And I think all three sides of the ball, from what I can tell, did a really good job of executing and using the two weeks that we had to prepare and putting that work to use, obviously, and came up big time in this win.

Q. Can you just kind of walk me through what you saw on that first touchdown pass to Equanimeous? You guys were running like a scissors concept. What was your target there?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: It was really supposed to be targeted to Alize Mack. But they went to cover zero and I had a good one-on-one matchup with EQ outside, and he got a good step on him. And I kind of saw it a little bit late, but I made the play. And EQ went up there and got the catch for me.

Q. Got a couple of balls downfield early. Did you feel like that kind of loosened USC up a little bit and opened up a few more run lanes?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Absolutely. Up front, they were so physical and dominant. But I think throwing the ball down the field kind of backed them off a little bit, took a couple of guys out of the box. Still have to be way more effective when it comes to the passing game, and I think that will come in these next couple of weeks here.

Q. Both you and Josh rushed for over 100 yards tonight. What did your offensive line do well for you to have that success?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: What they always do well: Being physical, using their size, and their dominance to move guys up front, they've been effective doing that all year. So why change what you're doing and you're being successful with it? So they've done a great job all year.

Q. You guys entered the game ranked No. 13. You just beat No. 11 by 35. Do you think that maybe Notre Dame is a little underrated this time around?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: I try not to pay attention too much to the rankings and being overrated or underrated. I think coming out here week by week and executing and doing the things we're taught to do and playing Notre Dame football will tell its tale as we come closer to the end of the season. So the rankings are the rankings. We'll just keep winning games.

Q. How much excitement is the offense getting from the play of the defense and the way they're trying to get the ball turned over, do you want to talk a little bit about that?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: I think it's pretty special. When they turn the ball over, I've heard about the statistics that we're able to put some points up on the board usually after a turnover. So they've been dominant. And we went into half, I think they had zero points.

When they take away the ball, you just get so excited, and Coach Long wants to be aggressive and call a play, usually a shot. So I think the offense has done a great job of turning around and putting points on the board after the defense does a great job.

Q. Coach talked about the players realizing kind of the big picture with regard to the college football playoff but not losing sight of the process. How do you kind of balance that knowing what you have in front of you and then the week-to-week as well?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: I think we have all the opportunities ahead of us that we started the season with, even after that one loss.

But I think we've done a great job of preparing since January to take things day by day and week by week. And I think that's really important as we come here down the stretch. We'll go back, celebrate this, and head back tomorrow and evaluate the film and get ready for another big-time game in NC State.

Q. What did you like that you saw from Kevin Stepherson today?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: I think I liked his two weeks of preparation. At least the way he played today. He was focused for the entire two weeks and you saw that in him today, even earlier from this morning in our walk-through, how focused he was.

He exploded off the ball. We got him a couple of reverses. And I knew that he was going to have an effective day. I told him before the game I was, like, man, I'm coming to you a couple times here today. And he did his thing and went up and got the ball for me.

Q. Do you kind of expect him to have more of these kind of bigger games moving forward?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Absolutely. As we get him integrated into our offense and understanding -- get him caught up to speed and understanding what we're doing, what we're trying to do on the offensive side of the ball. As he gets back into shape, sometimes he's a little lagging behind when we're trying to push the tempo, just because he hasn't been out there for the first four, five weeks. I think he'll keep progressing. And the offense I think will take the next steps we have to take.

Q. How much more are you getting in sync with Chip Long in terms of him knowing what your strengths are, you being able to sort of give feedback to him what those are and just sort of like a little bit more of a collaboration there?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: I think that Chip and I -- Coach Long and I -- (laughter) Chip, yeah -- have definitely grown over the past seven weeks. Even from the spring, just me getting into his office more often throughout the week. Obviously had a little bit more time here with the bye week and the fall break, but I think that paid huge dividends for us this week because I was able to meet with him a couple more times and just understand what he's trying to accomplish when he calls a play. And I think that's a huge thing that a quarterback and the OC have to have.

Q. Is that a situation where you have to have some game experience to share between the two of you?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Yeah, I definitely feel so. He came from an electrifying quarterback in Ferguson. He's expecting big things out of his quarterback. And he comes with a mindset of being dominant and being physical. And he definitely puts us in the right positions to be successful. And he uses his assets. And I think our biggest asset right now is those guys up front. So why not?

Q. How important is the tempo, the going quick to the effectiveness of what you're able to do offensively?
BRANDON WIMBUSH: Some plays guys are not lined up on the defensive side of the ball and you're able to throw it out and get eight yards. And eight yards is a lot. And it paid huge today.

And the speed, it wears the guys out. Doesn't allow them to substitute sometimes. And, like I said, guys are not lined up, so it makes it easier for our blocking schemes. And I think that's something that is becoming part of our identity.


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